Banks in the US are on the receiving end of long overdue examination into their practices in relation to overdraft charges. Transaction 'reordering', 'delaying' and other handy little systemic sleights of hand designed to extract the maximum fees from customers
who fall into overdraft are attracting the ire of both consumers and the government. While everyone realises that banks need fees to operate, there is a less than subtle difference between legitimate fees and 'doing the customer a favour' by switching the
order of a transaction so that the fee is greater.
While it may seem a good idea for the moment, it is bound to come back to bite banks. If you don't play fair the government will change the rules. Just like they did with credit cards.
Banks do have a right to charge fair overdraft fees but some banks may have been less than fair. Make sure it isn't yours.
US credit card fees are subject to new laws coming into effect soon, and it appears that issuers are jacking up the fees in advance of the new laws. Senator Christopher Dodd is on the case. Congress is unlikely support flagrant attempts to circumvent these
laws. As Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Sen Dodd on Thursday called for regulators to draft new regulations that would require credit card companies to review rate hikes since the start of this year.
There will undoubtedly be consequences for those who try a foul. Any Government which wishes to stay in office through the next election is unlikely to provide the banks with the 'fee'ding frenzy they've enjoyed in the past.
Perhaps Mr Brown feels similarly about this type of behaviour.
Thanks to Scott Mills.